The Fire Service rushed to extinguish multiple blazes threatening homes in Auckland, Northland and the Far North last night. And helicopters with monsoon buckets have today resumed a battle to contain a major fire in Northland.
There was a large blaze at Pataua Campground, near Whangarei, and others on Mt Wellington's volcanic cone in Auckland and Matai Bay in the Far North.
The Fire Service sent "large responses" to protect homes.
Thousands of people witnessed the large scrub fire on Mt Wellington's volcanic cone, thought to have been started by New Year's Eve revellers lighting fireworks. The blaze was eventually extinguished by 1am, without any damage to properties.
However, Fire Service shift manager Jaron Philips said the blaze in Matai Bay in the Far North - also believed to have been started by fireworks - was "not good".
The fire front was 600m in length and was creeping towards homes. He said the fire was very difficult to access and the priority was to evacuate people and protect houses.
"We know it is close to houses, tents and the campground. Because it's dark and because of the time the focus is on protecting the houses."
Eight crews from Karikari, Mangonui, Rangiputa and Kaitaia responded. Several helicopters with monsoon buckets began work at dawn today in a bid to extinguish the fires.
Principal Rural Fire Officer Myles Taylor said last night it looked like two buildings were at risk.
"It's a pretty big fire. We can't get access to it. It's too dangerous.
"We're working out what we're going to do about it now."
Philips said three helicopters were being called in to fight the fire; they started working at first light.
Matai Bay resident Val said last night she could see the red glow in the sky from the fire and she was at least 10km away.
"It is a bit worrying it is very dry. It could be coming towards the campground.
"The campground is full. I hope to God it's not going towards there."
Houses were evacuated at Pataua South as a fire threatened homes, a large shed and pines trees the Fire Service said. Police helped people flee their homes.
The campground at Pataua South was safe from the fire, but houses and old sheds behind the campground are being evacuated.
Brook Davis said the fire at Pataua Campground was "pretty scary s***" but seemed to have died down a bit. At its peak he could see a big red glow and lots of smoke.
"It was pretty full on. It was huge like volcano going up."
Davis said the campers were warned they may have to evacuate. If they did so they would only be allowed to walk out of the campground and had to leave everything behind.
Davis, who has camped there every summer for over seven years, said there was a fire scare last year too.
"It's obviously just grab your wallet, phone, wake the kids up and go.
"If it's not a fire it's a flood. We keep coming back anyway."
Authorities were in contact with security at the camping ground if an evacuation was required.
Meanwhile, the Fire Service responded to a scrub fire near the summit of Mt Wellington.
Fire Service shift manager Jaron Philips said "hundreds" of people reported the fire and some believed it was getting close to houses. He said the fire was two separate grass fires and there were reports of fireworks being let off in the area.
Four fire crews responded.
Earlier, the Fire Service responded to multiple reports of a grass fire in Christchurch.
The fire was spreading on Richmond Hill, Sumner, a fire service spokesman said.
A trampoline was also reported on fire in the Auckland suburb of Epsom.